DIY Hair Detangling Spray

DIY Natural Hair Detangling Spray- Natural Inexpensive and Easy to Make

Five years ago, my daughter was born with two inches of curly dark hair. It has lightened up over the past few years but it has also gotten thicker and become more wavy than curly. It is almost down to her waist again, and I’ve cut off over 20 inches since she was born. This is the same child who is pictured in this post (I was accused of putting extensions in her hair for that picture… she was three!)

She is also the most tender headed child alive. I just look at her while holding a brush and she starts crying. I’ve had to use detangling spray since she was a few months old, and a couple of special brushes have helped (especially this one and this one) but she still hates having her hair brushed. I never liked that most store bought detangling sprays contain a lot of chemicals, so a few years ago, I started making my own with conditioner and water.

Homemade natural spray detangler recipeIt works pretty well, but a few months ago, I saw post on Frugally Sustainable about what she uses on her daughter’s hair and it was brilliant so I’ve started incorporating her recipe too. She adds marshmallow root (I got mine here), which we already have on hand for making our homemade marshmallows, and the results were great.

I’ve also experimented with adding chamomile (to lighten hair) and nettle (helps hair grow) without a problem. The natural conditioner in this spray gives it a light but fresh scent and leaves hair really soft.

While my daughter still hates having her hair brushed, now she doesn’t cry or scream as long as I use one of the special brushes and the detangling spray (yet, she still loves having long hair… go figure). This detangling spray doesn’t leave hair weighed down or oily, but leaves it shiny. So you can see the results, my daughter is pictured above in the blue robe and her hair was brushed with the spray and air dried.

To make this detangling spray, I use distilled water, marshmallow root, conditioner and essential oils with optional other herbs. Any conditioner will work, but I prefer a natural one, especially for kids. Natural conditioner are more expensive, but with as little as you need for this recipe, one bottle lasts over a year for all three of my daughters.

The top natural brands that I’ve tried that smell good, work well and don’t have harmful ingredients are:

  1. Shea Moisture Organic Restorative Conditioner (I love all of their products and we use this cream all the time too)
  2. Max Green Alchemy Scalp Rescue Conditioner (more earthy/tea tree scent but organic and works really well)
  3. EO Sulfate Free Coconut and Hibiscus Conditioner (least expensive and smells excellent)
  4. Acure Organics Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner (light and fresh scent)

In the picture, I used a glass spray bottle I got during a Zulily sale, but I’ve also used this spray bottle from amazon and the sprayer actually works better for this.

Detangling Spray Ingredients

How to Make Hair Detangling Spray

  1. Boil water and marshmallow root in a small pan.
  2. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Let cool slightly and strain through a cheesecloth or very thin wire strainer.
  4. While still warm, pour in to bottle add conditioner and essential oils (if using) and shake until mixed.
  5. Store for up to 2 months (this is as long as I’ve tested).

Do you use detangling spray? Ever made your own? Share below!

This homemade hair detangling spray is simple to make, chemical free and saves money over store bought versions. The secret ingredient is marshmallow root!

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Reader Comments

  1. Did you use whole Marshmallow root or the powder?

    • Either will work as long as it is strained out really well but I use whole

      • Could you use Marshmallow root extract? If so how much should you use? I found this on amazon called, “Nature’s Answer Marshmallow Root”.

        • I haven’t tried that but it might work… It is in liquid dorm so you might have to experiment with the amount, though. Let us know if you try it, and how it works!

      • I’ve never worked with and don’t understand the marshmallow root thing, does it dissolve in the water or do you just leave it floating around in the bottle? –Thanks

        • No, it doesn’t dissolve…but it does produce a “gel” like substance when you cook it. you will need to strain it though. Whatever doesn’t go thru the strainer gets tossed out. The rest you would add to the bottle, along with whatever conditioner and/or oils you want.

      • Just an FYI this is not a Natural Conditioner, I really appreciate your recipe with the exception of “adding conditioner” Commercial conditioner has additives ( preservative that are not natural among other unhealthy additives) To have a natural product everything added should be all natural. With that being said, I made this detangling spray omitted the 2tsp of conditioner of your choice, and it turned out great !

  2. Thank you! COuld you please fix the link for the spray bottle from amazon? It links to Shea Moisture baby ointment. I have long thick very curly hair and have been using Mane n Tail detangler because I couldn’t find a natural recipe that worked. Will definitely give this a try.

    • Glad to hear it wasn’t just me. I was going to order this bottle for my daughter’s hair.

  3. how do you make this with the nettle. my daughter’s hair is still super fine and thick, like baby hair, but she is 8. i’d like to do anything to help her hair growth and fill in more completely.

    • Just simmer nettle leaf in to the water and strain before using. Gelatin and omega-3 internally can also help with hair growth

      • How much nettle leaf would be good for this specific recipe?

      • Just need to jump in, Omega 3 clarification should be always have it in natural form eg: white fish, shellfish etc not the oil as it is processed to stay liquid and is a dangerous trans fat. (PUFA) oxidizes in your system

  4. I am a stylists with curly hair, and I also have a “tender headed” 3 yr old daughter with curly hair who’s hair is even at 3, way thicker than mine! And after a year and a half of fighting and crying at bath time, I found the book “curly girl” by Lorraine Massey. She to believes in a more natural non toxic approach. The book is great. I went as a stylist and invested in a class she offers on cutting and washing curly hair. It has really changed our hair lives lol. I remember BEING one of those tender headed kids. Ironically, the main thing she teaches is to leave a good amount of the conditioner in the hair. And sprits the hair and scalp on non washing days with distilled water with lavender oil to eliminate
    BO. Which both main ingredienst in your detailing recipe.

    • The Curly Girl book changed my hair life too 🙂 so much easier than the years of misery and amounts of money I spent fighting my curls. Now I take better care of my hair.

      I made this detangling conditioner tonight. It is amazing!!!! I was using a mix of water and ACV as a detangler and it worked pretty well. but still lots of tears. even with the special hairbrush mentioned above. That brush did cut brushing time in half though. And this wonderful conditioner cut brushing time in half again. It is still a struggle, but at least it is only a struggle for 1/4 the amount of time. Thank you, Wellness Mama 🙂 and my 2 and 4 year old girls thank you also.

    • Oh Katie McGee, I wish you lived by me!!! (Do you happen to live in Utah?) I think having a stylist who understands curly hair is priceless. I just do not feel like people who do not have curly hair get it fully! So awesomeness. And I am so getting that book.

  5. I made this yesterday and I think it came out ok. I tried it on the kids last night and their hair combed right out. I only used one tbs of conditioner because they have fine, thin hair and it seemed to be enough. I can’t wait to try it on myself!

  6. Why did you remove the nettle from the recipe? Love Shea Moisture products to have on hand too!

  7. This is a God-send! My 6 year old daughter also HATES having her hair brushed but INSISTS on keeping it down to her waist. Brushing is usually ok on washing days but in between can be rough, especially when she’s had her hair loose all day. I’ll have to try this. Just not sure where to find marshmallow root here in Israel. The hunt is on!

    • Go find it in Gaza..

  8. I’m so excited to try this recipe for my 4 year old daughter, who also insists on having hair down to her waist, but hates letting me comb it! I’m just wondering if Marshmallow leaves would have the same effect as Marshmallow root, since all I can find in my town are the leaves… Thanks!

  9. I made up a batch of this tonight and I’m excited to try it and see how it fairs with my long, fine, easily tangled hair! I followed the directions carefully and used my favorite organic tea tree conditioner. I strained the mix well through cheesecloth prior to adding conditioner and EO. When I added the conditioner and stirred, shook, even whisked it, I could not get it to fully integrate/ dissolve and the mix appears very “chunky” due to the conditioner. I did let it cool a bit before I added it but I don’t know if perhaps it was too hot or my conditioner just isn’t dissolving as well as yours. Have you had any trouble with this? I tried to re- strain to remove the chunks but it just clogged up the cheesecloth and made a big mess.

    • Hi Carlie, This same thing happened to me! When I finished the simmering process I had only about 1/3 C of liquid left as opposed to the 1.5 C from the start. Did you find you had a lot less liquid as well??

      • Yes it did! I actually started out doubling the recipe to begin with because I have long hair and I wanted the spray to last a while. When I was finished it seemed like there was about half of what I had started with and I ended up making a second double batch! Now I have just over a liter, with four batches. I still don’t know what happened with the conditioner, though. I’ve since strained out the rest of the separated, chunky pieces of it. The spray feels nice on my hair and makes it shinier but does nothing to detangle it without conditioner.

      • Yes it did! I actually started out doubling the recipe to begin with because I have long hair and I wanted the spray to last a while. When I was finished it seemed like there was about half of what I had started with and I ended up making a second double batch! Now I have just over a liter, with four batches. I still don’t know what happened with the conditioner, though. I’ve since strained out the rest of the separated, chunky pieces of it. The spray feels nice on my hair and makes it shinier but does nothing to detangle it without conditioner.

    • Try adding more water to bring it back to about 2-3 cups and then wizz it in the blender

    • Might be because your conditioner wasn’t natural. Certain synthetic ingredients may not fully dissolve or incorporate from the nature of the ingredients meant to coat to the hair.

  10. Have you ever tried any Yarok products? The Feed Your Ends Leave In Conditioner is my savior. They’re a completely clean, vegan, and organic hair care brand that I wish I could buy all their products but they’re too expensive D: I’m so glad you mentioned Shea Moisture and Acure Organics also, they’re my favorite haircare lines (: But thank you for this recipe! If it works out I can save money by not using my Yarok as often, because I use it as a leave-in/detangler/heat protectant …

    • You should try cold infusing the marshmallow root. When you boil it, you get some mucilage (the slippery stuff) but you also get the starches from the root. This could be impeding the effectiveness of your recipe. Cold infusing will give you more mucilage, little to no starch.

  11. Do you HAVE to use conditioner, or could I try apple cider vinegar instead? My hair looks awful with any kind of conditioner and frankly, a
    I hate the way it feels.

  12. After simmering the marshmallow root and water, then straining, I am left with only 1/3 C of liquid! Is this the amount that is supposed to be left over after simmering?

  13. just made this detangler to use with my daughter it is not near as light colored as the one in the that normal?

    • Yes, it depends a lot on the type of conditioner and it also changes over time

  14. I bought a marshmallow root herbal extract at Whole Foods. Will that work in place of getting the actual herb? If so, how many drops of that do you think I would use? The bottle says “Fresh herb/menstruum ratio 1 : 25”

  15. Hi Katie! Quick question. What purpose does the marshmallow root serve? If it lightens hair at all, I am unsure about using it. I use henna/indigo on my gray hair to color to a dark brown. If there is another herb that would be better for dark hair, can you tell me what that would be? Thank you so much!

    • It is just naturally detangling due to its silky properties. Shouldn’t lighter hair..

  16. Thank you! I’m loving your natural beauty recipes. What’s the reason for distilled water in this recipe though? Can I use RO water?

  17. Does the product seperate? My conditioner would not mix in, in seperated

  18. We love this detangler! I’ve been using chemical-laden detanglers for years on my sensitive-headed girls, and I was excited to find one without all that junk. I do have a question about it! We can’t seem to get past the smell! I used a natural conditioner and I added about 10 drops of lavender essential oil, but it still has a very strong odor. My girls both cry and fuss because it’s “stinky”. Any tips for this? Wondering if it’s the smell of the conditioner paired with the smell of the marshmallow root? Or, wondering if my concentration of marshmallow root is too strong? Thanks!

    • You can try reducing the marshmallow root. which natural conditioner did you use? We use Shea Moisture most often now and it smells great

      • Currently, we’re using Calming Lemon-Lavender Shea Butter Conditioner & Detangler by Everyday Shea. I might try again with less marshmallow root. Thank you!

    • I bought a big bag of lavendar buds and some lavendar oil last year because it’s a natural deterrent for fleas, but found out quickly that: 1. It is a very strong smell. 2. I’m one of the few who don’t like the smell and 3. Some people are actually allergic to the smell and have strong reactions. I would suggest using some other type of essential oil and see how that goes with the girls.

  19. I made this up today after all of my items came from Amazon. It’s amazing! It didn’t take a whole lot and all three of my kids hair was instantly tamed and softened. My daughters showed marked improvement and now has a natural wave to it that hasn’t been seen before because we have to soak her hair in either water or store bought detangling spray just to comb it out. I doubled the recipe and ended up adding in 16 ounces of additional water halfway through the boil time but I did come out with exactly 24 ounces of detangling spray. I also used the Acure Organics Morroccan Argan Oil Conditioner and my essential oil of choice was Orange Blossom. It smells fantastic and is just slightly darker in color the one pictured here. Love, love, love!!! On a side note, I did get this spray bottle off amazon…I wouldn’t purchase the same one again. The spray pump handle broke in the first use and it either sprays the whole room or jets out–not much in between.

  20. I, too, have had the issue with the conditioner not mixing in, leaving chunks that clump together instead. Has anyone found the solution to this? I used Trader Joe’s tea tree conditioner, so I wouldn’t recommend that one for this recipe. Which conditioners have mixed well? Thanks!

  21. please tell me about the nettle my hair is very thin how much do you use?? do you boil it with the marshmellow the same amount of time?? I now have to wear wigs but most of my hair is growing back execpt for a few empty spots so i need all the help that i can get!!!
    Thank you

  22. What kind of nettle and how much would you use to improve hair growth? I looked on your website link for nettle and it lists the nettle leaf, nettle leaf powder, nettle root, and nettle root powder so I’m not sure which one would be appropriate.

  23. How many times can you use the marshmallow root for this purpose? Just the once, or can you use it more than once?

  24. LOVE this detangler. It just works. 🙂 5 stars to you.

  25. When using nettle powder and/or chamomile, do you infuse it along with the marshmallow root? Or is it a separate process/one or the other type thing?

  26. Hi, Wellness Mama. Thanks for your website and all good information you share. I just found your website and am loving it. I love natural things and want to learn and have more natural habits.

    I have a couple questions.

    My face is dry and coconut oil alone seems to be no help, keeping it dry. My face skin has no imperfections, but I want to stop using store bought lotions and switch to natural products.
    Could you please give me the names of some oils/butters that are actually emollient and penetrate the skin? Coconut oil alone is not emollient (for me), doesn’t seem to sink into the deeper layers of skin, it evaporates, leaving my face dry and with a weird texture.
    I need to find a good combination of oils/butters that are emollient and leaves my skin soft, supple and hydrated.

    What’s the purpose of the beeswax in the mix? Does it help with hydration? Does it avoid the final lotion to be too greasy?

    My other question is, I see you use vitamin E oil as a preservative. But reading on the website Mountain Rose Herbs, it looks like the best thing as a preservative, according to their description, is the one below:

    *** Rosemary Antioxidant (Extract) ***
    “The organic Rosemary antioxidant offered by Mountain Rose Herbs remains the number one choice for the natural preservation of hand made cosmetics, creams, lotions, and other herbal compounds. Its concentrated nature allows you to use sparingly with effective results and each bottle is guaranteed to contain healthy quantities of rosmarinic acid, the key compound in Rosemary, which is essential for stabilizing the shelf life of your body care products.
    Contains: Certified organic Rosemary extract produced via supercritical CO2 extraction infused in certified organic Olive Oil to make it more soluble.”
    2oz $25.50

    Knowing this, why do you prefer using Vitamin D Oil instead? I’d like to hear your reasons, so I can learn more.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Probably the price is what makes the difference for vitamin E against Rosemary! Wowser that amount would scare someone, like me, who is considering a first time attempt to supply these products for several members of their family. If you’ve got the money I’d say go for it and leave an update on how it works out. Probably worth every penny. Would have to work up to something like that to justify the expense.

    • Oils and butters are meant to form a barrier to prevent TEWL (trans epidermal water loss). If your skin is already very dry and then you put an oil or butter on top of it, you are not holding moisture in because your skin didn’t have enough moisture to begin with. The oils and butters will also prevent any humectancy from the air of ever reaching the skin. You need to use something that is an actual moisturizer or hydrator. You could try Aloe Vera juice and add just a little MSM powder. MSM is a penetration enhancer, meaning it will help things, like Aloe Vera absorb deeper into the layers of the skin where you are lacking moisture. You could also try a very low molecular weight Hyaluronic acid. Between 3000-5000 daltons.

      Also, Rosemary is an antioxidant and Vitamin E will help slow down the oxidation of oils, which causes them to go rancid in a certain amount of time. Oils vary in their shelf life. You can’t prevent rancidity or oxidation but you can slow it down with Tocepherol (Vitamin E). Neither one of these are capable or suitable for using as a preservative in skin care products.

  27. Hi, I have dry over processed and dyed hair with a ton of greys coming in. Couple questions: can I make this mix and add chamomile tea and lemon juice to lighten my hair and how about rosemary essential oil which I heard helps the scalp? Also I have read that comfrey root can be used as a substitute for marshmallow root in some applications… is hair care included? Wellness mama what would you create if you had my hair care concerns?! ( detangle, moisturize, lighten naturally). Thanks a million!!

    • I’d add chamomile and rosemary and nettle for hair growth and damaged hair

  28. LOVE this Detangler! Today was day one using this, the sea salt spray, and the hairspray. I am in love with all three. I have baby fine hair and this combination works perfectly to get it de-tangled and add volume. Giving up my hair products was the hardest step in ditching all toxic chemicals but this recipe (and the others) has made this a seamlessly easy transition. Thanks Wellness Mama!!!

  29. Just found this recipe. Mi grow marshmallow in my herb garden & was wondering if I could use fresh leaves instead if the root? Has anyone tried this?

  30. Do you use conditioner in the bath AND detangling spray on your daughter’s hair, or just the spray?

  31. I just starting using this with the chamomile and nettle. Though, I only used a table spoon of chamomile. Is this enough? And how long do you think it’ll take for me to notice my hair getting lighter?

    • Honestly, it’s different for everyone, because your hair texture and properties affects how quickly the hair is stained. A stronger solution may yield faster results, though.

  32. Thankyou cannott wait to try this !! I used chamomile and marshmallow root for mine as I’m hoping that when I used it in the morning to detangle my wild hair to then go out in the sun for the day it will gradually lighten my hair! I’ve used and heard about several natural lightening techniques for your hair such as chamomile, lemon, honey, cinnamon- the works but was wondering if you knew any more?xx

  33. Hello! I was wondering with what can I substitute the marshmallow root? Thank you!)))

    • Hm… I am not sure, actually. It’s pretty essential. I suppose you could leave it out, but it really gives the spray a lot of slipperiness.

  34. Maybe a dumb question but is this a leave in spray – do you apply to towel dried hair?

    • Yes, you can use it that way. If that is not “slippery” enough for you, you can use it with wetter hair, though.

  35. Hi Katie,

    You said the detangling spray can be stored for up to 2 months (based on your experience)… that at room temperature??

    I found another recipe that included ACV, olive or jojoba oil and EO’s in additional to the marshmallow root…..but it said store in fridge for up to 3 weeks.

    SO….I’m hoping room temp is the answer 🙂


    ~ toni

  36. Could I use jojoba oil in place of conditioner?

    • You could try it. I don’t know if it would be as slippery, but let us know if you try it and how it works!

  37. I only got about 4oz liquid after straining the marshmallow root. Is that right? Or did I do something wrong?

  38. I was wondering if you could share what the benefits of adding the marshmallow root were? I know you said the results were good, but I am wondering what difference you noticed (worth the extra time and money)? Thanks so much! 🙂

    • Yes! It makes the mixture much more “slippery”, and helps you slide that comb through your hair.

  39. I made this for my daughter’s hair and it works wonders. I tried it myself and love it. It gives my hair, which is very fine and thin, a lot of body. I added nettle to the recipe hoping to regrow some hair. I love your recipes and enjoy your website very much !

  40. Love this idea and ordered the root… like 2 months ago lol… WHEN i get around to making some, I hope it smells better after it’s made! we tried the ACV and the kids screamed from the smell…i like the idea of them smelling a little sweeter than that too lol

    So I ordered the Marshmallow root thinking it would smell good…mmmmnotsomuch 🙂 but i’m still going to give it a try! I have a cupboard full of EO’s so i’m sure i’ll find some way to cover it it but i never really could with the ACV – which is unfortunate because it is an unbelievable detangler 🙂

  41. How long does this last? In article you state you use 1 bottle for 1 year but the recipe stays 2 months. Thanks

    • When Katie said 1 year, she was talking about the bottle of natural conditioner. Her point was that while the conditioners she listed are expensive, you only use 2 tablespoons each time you make the detangling spray. So the bottle of conditioner lasts a year.

  42. Hi, when do you add the optional herbs (nettle and chamomile specifically)? Can’t wait to make this!

  43. What essential oil do you use? Which one will have the best benefits for healthy hair?

  44. Hi what is ACV?
    But more importantly does this work when hair is matted up because of tangling so fast. My daughters hair is a nightmare to brush out, it is so long and fine and like others she wants it long but the stress of combing it out. If she stays at her dad’s it doesn’t get brushed properly, she can’t do it herself and no hope of dad doing it for her. So it ends up like a bird’s nest by the time she comes home. Also would the brush mentioned work for her and if so which one?
    Great site so glad I googled detangling hair and this came up.
    Brilliant Katie – wellness mama

    • ACV is apple cider vinegar. The spray does work well even if the hair is a bit matted up. you can spray it on and really massage to work it in and then leave it a minute or two to really help. The brush may certainly help her. Really it’s down to the size on the brush… choose a size that will fit our hand and be appropriate for her hair density.

  45. I am excited to try this as my daughter and I have crazy thick hair. I never use a brush no matter how wonderful it is to detangle hair. I use a super wide comb first as brushes just mat it otherwise, then finish up with the brush.

  46. I want to use this on my Old English Sheepdog…. how long time does it have to stay in the hair before brushing,,,,,,

  47. Hi Katie – Wellness Mama ,

    Would love to try is for my 8 year old.
    Please let me know about the following things
    1. Mostly people are asking the conditioner and liquid mixture is not mixing properly. How can that be corrected?

    2. How can nettle be added to this recipe?

    3. How much liquid should be left after simmering marshmallow root?


  48. Hi, I made a batch of this for my 2 y.o. little boy who has really tight spirals that matt up very easily and while it seems to work fairly well, Id like it to be more slippery than watery. Any suggestions?

    Thank you much,


    • Honestly, you might just decrease the water and add more conditioner and marshmallow root.

  49. I love this detangled and have been using it on my four year old for at least a year! Do you have any suggestions for getting the conditioner to mix in? I end up with what seems like a lot of the conditioner separating (actually, its separated from the beginning even if I shake for a while) and coating the inside of the bottle. I’d love to get it to mix in better.

    • Maybe make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature? Also, it could be the conditioner you chose. If it’s pretty oily, that could be causing it to separate out. You might try also putting it through a blender, with a messy cleanup disclaimer.

  50. I just had a question about the nettle leaf and camomile. Do you add while the marshmallow root is boiling or its own separate water? I haven’t yet made a batch wanted to ask this first.

  51. Hi Katie! I am a big fan. Loved the wellness summit too. Wondering, could I use slippery elm instead of the marshmallow? I happen to have that and like to use things I already have… thanks! Lydia

    • I have not tried that but you could… Let me know how it works!

  52. Thank you for creating an awesome recipe! After using it on my 3 year old, she said her hair “sparkled.” I tried it on my hair too, and it added a lot of body without being greasy. I adjusted the recipe slightly and used a little less conditioner, and also added chamomile (same amount as marshmallow root).

    For those who had problems with the conditioner mixing into the rest of the solution, I have a tip. Easiest is to use a latte/milk frother drink tool. I got my from IKEA for $7. It basically spins really fast and is small and is the perfect size for this. If you don’t have that, you could also use a blender or even immersion blender.

    Love this! It was WAY cheaper than the store-bought version. Thanks Katie! YOU ROCK GIRL and have made a huge difference in my life. Thanks a ton!!! 🙂

  53. Thank you, Katie, for this recipe (as well as many others)! I made this today, and it was the first time since quitting commercial shampoos (about 2 weeks ago) that I’ve been able to get a detangling comb through my hair without being near tears. I know I have a while to go before the detox period is over, but hopefully your hair detox (which I also did today) helps the process.

  54. I am so excited to try this on myself and my little super curly “tender headed” girl. Thanks so much for sharing! Off to Amazon to order my supplies.

  55. How much nettle should be used in this recipe? I see others have asked this question, but it hasn’t been answered. Thanks for your suggestions.

  56. Is there anything non sticky that could be added to this detangle recipe for flat iron protection?
    Thank you

  57. Thanks 🙂 It is the only spray that actually worked on my daughter’s hair ! A life saver !!

  58. Is this working as a conditioner as well? I have thin, wavy hair and I’m afraid that using both a conditioner and the detangler, which I need, will weigh down my hair.
    Is this formula greasy or not? Thanks so much, great website!

    • It is very moisturizing and I think it could work. I have not found it to be greasy.

  59. Lily of the Valley Aloe Vera juice inner fillet in a spray bottle (need to keep refrigerated), heard is a good detangler as well.

  60. Thank you for sharing this! It’s always a struggle brushing my two little girls’ hair! Believe it or not, after many, many hairbrush tests, a pet brush( yes, pet brush!) from the dollar store works wonders! It has a good grip handle, but softer wire- like bristles. Think about it- pets have matted, thick hair! It’s the only brush that my girls will let me use, and it easily brushes through the knots.

  61. I saw the question asked by someone else but did not see a response. Is there a big difference in using the marshmallow leaves instead of the root? Has anyone tried yet?

    Thanks in advance. THANKYOU WM for all you do. Can you write a book please? I spend so much time at the computer now going through your website. 🙂

  62. I did everything as instructed, but the end result color is a copper color. Is that right?

    • Jk! I was skeptical to add my conditioner thinking my solution was done wrong (because of the color) but I added my conditioner and what do ya know, it’s not orange anymore! Lol

  63. Hi Katie!

    I would love to try out this detangling spray but the conditioners you list are expensive. Do you think it would be possible to use homemade conditioner from one of your recipies for this instead of the store bought options?


  64. I modified your recipe & although not expecting it to work (as all the store-bought de-tanglers for my 3 yo granddaughter & my own 3′ long white hair are disappointments), I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I have been making herbal products at home for 45 years so had the chunks of marshmallow root. I didn’t have a spray bottle but collect brown bottles for medicinals so used a 15 oz. Worcestershire sauce bottle with plastic ‘sprinkler’ in the opening. Sprinkle into hands, rub & apply to dry hair (although I’m sure it would be easier on wet hair. I need it in the morning after I get up & have bed-head). I would have preferred a spray bottle, but this does work. My recipe follows:
    *follow same instructions for boiling down Marshmallow root (made about 1/2 cup), pour into bottle
    -1 Tablespoon oil (olive, I used avocado, but anything in your cupboard will work) instead of thick conditioner
    -10 drops essential oil (peppermint is nice, any flower scent as well)
    -fill the remainder of the container with Aloe Vera (juice, not pulp), also a known hair protector
    *Write SKAKE WELL along with De-tangler on the bottle as the oil separates & must be homogenized before using. There is no ‘feel’ to this after it dries. Also doesn’t leave hair ‘oily’ either. Doesn’t pull the curls out & definitely controlled the frizzies while brushing after having my hair down all day at the fair & in the wind so hair was really a mess this morning.
    Wellness Mama: Thank you for taking the time to help all of us that found your web site! My bathroom counter will always have a bottle of this on it from now on. -Wrinkled Radical

  65. I was blown away by this recipe and couldn’t wait to try it. I think I may have diluted it too much. After boiling I added water back in to equal a cup, also added a few drops of oil and the Shea conditioner. It’s somewhat helpful at de-tangling but kind of makes my hair oily. The protein spray recipe I got from this site seems to work better. It also does a beautiful job of bringing out the curl and making my hair shiny. The Shea conditioner works really well too. I’m going to try making this again but with more marshmallow and leave out the oil.

  66. Hi Kate,
    I am wondering when u add nettle to ur recipe do u store it in the fridge or keep it at room temperature? I looked up how to infuse nettle & everything ive read said it needs to be refrigerated except nettle oil. Like in this…!hair-loss/c1c0p
    Im hoping it doesn’t have to be refrigerated, if it does would u suggest using nettle oil instead since i want to store it at room temperature? Thank you for your time! I love ur articles!

  67. Was wondering if there was a gel version. Sprayers break easily. Anyone know of a way to thicken the recipe?

  68. I was wondering if instead of a glass spray bottle if the aluminum ones hairdressers use would be okay to use

  69. This is the best way to keep our hair smooth,silky,shiny.I don’t like the so called “natural/organic hair products”.Because these are detrimental for our hair.I like to use homemade shmapoo/conditioner.Thanks for sharing with us .

    • Anyone willing to share a good homemade shampoo/conditioner recipe ?

  70. Cani use this detangling spay when brushing my dog who has thick, long hair?

  71. Please forgive me it this has been asked before, but I chose not to read all two years worth of comments: I purchased the marshmallow root that you recommended and it arrived with a warning sticker on it re: birth defects and reproductive harm!! Mountain Rose Herbs’ website has nothing mentioned beyond consulting a doctor if pregnant or nursing. While I am not particularly concerned about myself, I use this on my 7 year old daughter…thoughts?

  72. I have been growing my hair out for a number of years, and here is a couple tips from female friends that also keep their hair long. One is NEVER brush hair when it is wet. Use a wide tooth comb starting from the bottom and working your way up to remove tangles. The wide tooth comb works so well for me, that I have stopped using a brush. The second was to use apple cider vinegar, put it in a spray bottle and apply it after shampooing to your scalp and work through your hair. It smooths the cuticle so there are less tangles to start. I have my guy mix the apple cider vinegar and coconut oil with henna when he applies it for me. It deep conditions, softens and leaves it quite shiny. My boyfriend has found that when he trims my hair every couple months to remove splits and keep my ends even, that I have fewer splits since using the henna mix. Henna comes in multiple colors, and even conditioning only adding no color. My hair is to my elbows, so less tangles make my hair routine easier. I also have my guy braid my hair before bed, when we go out on the motorcycle or out for a hike. A quick French braid looks great and prevents tangles.

  73. Cheryl, your routine sounds really interesting. You mention using ACV after shampooing, also ACV with coconut oil and henna. You’d have to be doing that part prior to hair wash. Can you provide any additional information?

  74. Could this be used on “static head?” My granddaughters are wearing hats since it is January and they have “static head” when the hats come off.

  75. I just ordered nettle leaf tea bags and marshmallow root tea bags from Amazon, thinking they will be easier to work with? Both are 100% organic and were Prime items so no additional shipping charges if you are a member. Hoping this works just as well!! Thoughts?

  76. All 4 of the “top natural conditioners” listed above have Behentrimonium Chloride as the conditioning agent, which also happens to be the emulsifier. This ingredient is not something I would consider natural. Look it up on EWG and also Truth in Aging.
    One of them lists Honeysuckle Extract as the preservative. This could provide decent preservative qualities to an appropriate formulas if used at high enough amounts…….(i.e. you’d have to use a whole lot) Also of note: it is a Paraben by nature so for those of you trying to avoid Parabens I would not recommend this ingredient.
    One of them lists Sodium benzoate as part of the preservative. This is not a bad ingredient at all……….as long as it is not combined in any formula with any type of Vitamin C or derivative of Vitamin C. Most formulations contain Citric Acid, as it is a pH adjuster and is necessary to bring the pH of a formula down to the appropriate level. Our skin and hair prefer a slightly acidic environment. What can happen when Sodium Benzoate is used with any of these C derivatives? It can convert to Benzene. You can look Sodium Benzoate up on Truth In Aging, paying close attention to the Safety Measures/ Side Effects area of the description, and EWG did not score it very well either.

    These conditioners claim to be natural and one even says 100% natural origin and no synthetic ingredients, yet they ALL contain synthetic ingredients. That doesn’t mean synthetic ingredients are bad. At least, not all of them. They make formulating emulsions possible. They are a necessary and required part of the chemistry process when making formulations.

  77. Bummed this did not seem any different than what I normally use. ( water, conditioner or almond oil, essential oils) daughter’s hair is thick but fine and curly. Still on the search for help with her hair.

  78. Which essential oils could I add as a head lice deterrent? If tea tree do you find it drying?

  79. Hi Katie! I used this recipe for a year or so, almost daily on my daughters, then started using it on myself as well and KNOW it makes a huge difference! Over having a baby I didn’t make it for a while and now the last several times I have made it, it smells really sweet almost fermented within a day or shortly after, and turns dark. I follow your recipe with the EO conditioner and add 3 Tbls of nettle to the marshmallow pot… any ideas why it is going bad? Is it the nettle, and if so, are there any solutions? We LOVE this product and all miss it lot!!! Anyways thanks for all your great ideas and recipes!!!

  80. I only recently found this and was by excited to try it.. I just made it and am very turned off by the color from the marshmallow root and water.. It’s a mucky brown I haven’t seen anyone else comment about this.. I can’t imagine spraying it into my hair or my girls… Could it be the type of marshmallow root that I bought?

  81. Thank you for posting this recipe! I just made some with both marshmallow root and nettle leaves. It worked wonders on my daughter’s waist-length hair! It left her hair very silky so not only did it take the tangles out, but it is smooth enough that no new tangles will occur (until she washes it again, anyway). We used sweet orange and vanilla essential oils and it smells great, too. Thanks again!

  82. My mixture works but the liquid is a deep brown. I used whole marshmallow root. It doesn’t look anything like yours in the picture. Mine just doesn’t look pretty. ?

  83. If this calls for 3T of marshmallow root, how much should I order? It shows in 4 oz, 6 oz, and 10 oz I think.